A Nonprofit Organization

Netzer, D.
in Ruth Towse, editor, A Handbook of Cultural Economics. Cheltenham, U.K. and Nothhampton, MA: Edward Elgar,

In all rich countries, firms organized on a not-for-profit basis produce cultural goods and services, along with for-profit firms (including independent professional artists) and the state. This is also true in many poorer countries. Non-profit firms are defined as organizations that have a formal structure and governance, which differ greatly among countries but share the characteristics that (1) the managers of the organization do not own the enterprise or have an economic interest that can be sold to other firms or individuals and (2) any surplus of revenue over expenditure may not be appropriated by the managers of the organization, but must be reinvested in ways that further the stated purposes of the organization. Obviously, such organizations will not be formed and continue to exist unless the organizers and managers expect and realize some economic rewards, including money compensation for their own services and non-financial rewards like consumption benefits (producing cultural goods and services that they want to enjoy but which will not be produced without their efforts) and personal status.